This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 15, 2010 10:30 AM. The previous post in this blog was Jesse Jackson on his way to Portland in latest cop killing. The next post in this blog is Crunch time in SoWhat. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Portland infrastructure: Deteriorating, with no hope in sight

This report by Portland city bureaucrats concludes that the city needs $183 million a year more than it currently gets to "develop needed capacity, maintain existing facilities, address regulatory requirements, and/or meet service levels." And that annual number, which does not take street paving issues into account, is expected to grow over the next 10 years. Go by streetcar!

Comments (19)

And yet somehow we are supposed to be able to fund an additional $ 630 million in new construction for bikes....

Its so stupid that one must laugh at the foolishness of the council.

"This year, the combined annual funding gap for Transportation (except street pavement), Environmental Services, Water, Parks and Civic assets is $183 million."

Hmm, somehow in the Council's head this translates into BES having "extra money" that can be used for the bike plan. And the water bureau having money to set up a demonstration house in East Portland.

Watching this city is like watching five monkeys trying to hump a cantaloupe.

When are the voters in this city going to wake up and realize how badly they're being fleeced by bureaucrats that will retire on PERS and move to another state?

If anyone needs proof of how the City is here just to provide obstacles for the rest of us, just head south on SE 17th and take a right on Spokane. This is a taste of the "bike infrastructure" to come -- infrastructure that will be paid for while everything around us is in shambles.

In other words, not only is there not enough money to go around, there isn't enough money for the building and long-term maintaning of new infrastructure. Most folks simply refuse to believe this--they think that streets can continue to be maintained and new ones built.

And, it's a national problem. Service and maintanence costs are so enormous now in dense urban environments that some cities are having to choose between bankruptcy and reducing basic human services--so that autos, trucks, and bicycles can have good roads.

And, look carefully at Adams' actions, not his words. What has he done to address it?

Created a "pothole hotline" and supported an *additional" half-billion dollars or more in transportation infrastructure--for a single mode of transport, the bicycle.

There are a range of excellent policy choices that are cheaper and more effective. Adams knows them. Problem is, they're also hard and unpopular.

Unfortunately, Mayor Facebook hates hard and unpopular choices. So instead, he carefully and strategically placates a "voter base" that will allow him to keep his job.

Though that may sound too simple to be true, I believe it's at the core of his problem--he's too fundamentally narcissistic and arrogant to put the long-term needs of a diverse citizenry first. He'll tell Mike and Jean "I got your back", but it's a ruse, an elegant lie, a flurry of words to obfuscate a terrifying problem: Adams is a poor leader. Eventually, no amount of petulance, arrogance, and vengeful behavior is going to distract from that.

You really think PERS is the motivation of these people? They have MUCH bigger paydays planned than that. Besides people like Adams aren't moving out of state when they retire. This is the only place that will listen to their BS.

"city needs $183 million a year"

Lessee, we shakedown Earl for what is supposedly streetcar money ($50M/yr), we raise water rates every year ($50M), we stop rebuilding downtown streets every 5 years ($50M) and limit our refurb of PGE Park to once every 20 years ($35M) - BINGO, I got it figured out.

Sorry, people this is the set up for new taxes or higher fees. It'll be Samdy's vade mecum for the next 5 years.

re: Water bonds, and now infrastructure deteriorating. We at FOR are interested in persuing the bond issue, etc. We are told "if you don't like the bond language.... sue us" by PWB. It becomes tedious. The same city attorney that lost the case to FOR is advising PWB on the language used for the ordinance. Everthing we said over the last few years about the PWB bond process is true today as it was before the lawsuit. It would be helpful to have more voices from the business community, environmental groups, senior citizen groups, neighborhood associations, etc. support our efforts on a sustainble basis to get the message to Council. In the end the unnecessary treatment plant, and unnecessary covering of the reservoirs is going to put us over the financial cliff unless people start being more assertive in objecting to these public works and water quality travesties. Thanks.

Created a "pothole hotline"

No, the pothole line existed before Mayor Scammy. He did however publicize it, and have sign put up all over town. Of course in some cases they put the signs up right in front of a pothole, maybe the idea was to see if people would bother to report it.

Why worry? we've got revenue generating projects in the works like the new Soccer venture and a slew of new biotech jobs to fund infastructure!

You mean all those streetcar fares aren't enough to cover it? Oh no! guess we'll have to dip into the aerial tram revenues...

TOLLS people ! start with the 4 streets around city hall , then head up to BDS Palace , and that tiny little road to OHSU on the Hill.

Go by street car????...the city will not be able to pay the power bill to run that!

The largest survey ever of "well-being" in cities large and not-so-large does not find Portland among its leaders:

Go to the Gallup study via the link at the end of the PSBJ piece. OR, btw, does not rank high either.

Think we could have the feds charge the lot of them CoP paid folks with theft of honest services charges? Just sayin'

If we all started pissing in the bike lanes, we could reduce the incremental future growth of our sewer infrastructure by 20%.

Given the way City Halls pisses off tax dollars, it should be covered by the generous Free Speech protections in the Oregon Constitution. Plus it would be so much fun watching KGW make it sound hip and artistic on the evening news.

How about a carbon tax!

Chris Smith, he is on Portland's planning commission

"February 10, 2010
Better Choices than Wringing Our Hands?
More bad news for TriMet, and for us - they need to take $27M out of their budget this year, and that implies some big cuts in service.
Suppose as a community we decided it was time to do something else. How would we raise more revenue for transit operations (NOT for capital). How might we do it? Here are just a couple of ideas:
A local sales tax dedicated to transit operations
A tax on commercial parking spaces
Sadly, the Oregon constitution prevents gas tax revenue from being used for transit.
Now a carbon tax could be a different matter."

Watching this city is like watching five monkeys trying to hump a cantaloupe.

That might be one of the best analogies of the past year.

This city has been in the "tear it down" and then give a sweet-heart public-financed gig to a big construction firm for a long time.

The Construction mafia runs this town and they aren't interested in fixing old crap.

Look at the pretend public meetings on rebuilding the Memorial Coliseum. They already know which 3-4 big companies will get the gig. They're just going through the motions.

Same deal for our Water. Build new expensive stuff (which isn't needed) and forget fixing the old crap- which is falling apart.

I swear, giving those dolts access to money is like giving shotguns and ammo to chimpanzees. You're guaranteed a spectacular mess, and someone's likely to get hurt.

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